a few minutes with tim

For the second installment of the interview series, here’s Tim. He’s a Brooklyn-based systems administrator by day, and a turntablist/DJ during many evenings and weekends under the name “DJ Idlemind: The Appropriate Agent.”

He sat down to chat with us in his Bed-Stuy residence one afternoon, and demonstrated his craft for Jenn and I. We had heard him spin at parties before, but it was extra special to hear some mixing at his place. While he mentioned his favorite artist of all time is Prince, he definitely pulls from a wide range of sources to keep people dancing, and when possible, sneaks in samples that give props to Brooklyn. He’s also known for having love for Brit pop and hip hop from the 1980s, which never hurts to toss in, either.

For more information on Tim, and to find out where he’s performing next, definitely check out: http://listn.to/​djidlemind

Only a fraction of his equipment.

the epicenter of bioregionalism

Jenn and I flew into Cincinnati, Ohio for a nice. long weekend.  There’s an old farm that’s fun to explore in the evening.


We caught a Wussy show at Fountain Square, in downtown Cincinnati.

• Other Cincinnati events included: a birthday party for Maria, a birthday party for me (thanks, everyone, for the warm welcome), a solid trip to Northside Tavern (now with a larger stage), two trips to Skyline for some top-notch chili (words cannot express the joy of rolling into the cozy establishment at 3AM), meeting many more of Jenn’s extended family, including Mike, Roy, and others.

Even the basement of Nate and Kelly’s bungalo in Deer Park, Cincinnati, is perfectly mid-century.  I’m just awaiting the installation of the full-on tiki bar, then their home will be complete.

Sunset Park is very underrated, especially as an option for those living in Brooklyn’s fertile crescent (Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Fort Greene, Boerum Hill, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn Heights, Park Slope, South Slope, Windsor Terrace, etc).  I recommend grabbing a burrito or a few tacos and some Mexican cola along 5th Ave and like 44th Street, then walking across the street to the large, sloping, grassy field facing the setting sun over the water.

Big Joseph himself came back to NYC for a few days and crashed at my place, and it was great catching up with him, and finding out the myriad of ways that Toronto is ahead of New York when it comes to conservation and sustainability.  Jenn, Big Joseph, and I happened to run into Miles and his roommate Joe over at Safe Haven a few nights ago.  Pretty good guys — Joe’s got a really nice Pinarello track frame from 1983 or so, and we discussed a handful of Richardson sightings, haha.

• Music-wise, I’ve been listening to a handful of things a whole lot recently: on the indie rock end of the spectrum: Ponytail and Passion Pit both have put out some good stuff; and then on the hip hop end: MF DOOM produced a super-solid album for John Robinson, and LA-based producer Metaform’s album, “Standing on the Shoulders of Giants,” from last year, is excellent.

• I neglected to formally wish Val a happy birthday the other week.  I hope Chile’s treating you well.

A throwback shot: Admiral’s Row in Brooklyn, circa early 2007.  I understand the whole block is possibly slated for demolition at some point, sadly.  I remember late one night riding by the buildings and seeing light coming from one of the rooms, seemingly candlelight.

pitfalls and transgressions

Governor’s Island is a short, free ferry ride from the south end of Manhattan.  It’s been abandoned for about 10 years.  Since then, it’s been made into somewhat of a park / landmarked site / location of art installations.  I highly recommend you bring your bike to explore, though if you don’t, they actually have bike rentals on the island now.

There are many acres of empty housing, in various states of disrepair, due to roofs starting to cave in, and the strong ocean breeze taking it’s toll on them.  The city has been largely successful in keeping vandals out, which causes these places to feel like an untouched ghost town.

You may have been following the Swimming Cities of Serenissma recently (an extension of the Swimming Cities of the Switchback Sea, however this vessel pictured above is possibly more compelling, for it’s sustainability alone.  The project is called The Water Pod, and it’s currently docked on the south side of Governor’s Island, and houses crew amidst livestock, rainwater collection and filtration, while also growing many diverse plants and utilizing other alternative energy (ie: stationary bicycles that generate electricity).  Additionally the two large geodesic domes serve as beautiful, 1960s-era removable shelters.  Definitely check out the project.

• I caught a free Matt & Kim show at Pier 54 in Manhattan last week one night after work.  Robin and a few of her friends ran into Jenn and I there, and we caught some of the Flosstradamus set, as well as the entire main act.  Matt & Kim seemed thrilled to be playing at the space, but it didn’t feel like the best environment to experience a show (due to being long and narrow, sound dissipating in all directions, and no slope to the space, making for obstructed views all around).  However, still a scene (a pretty young crowd, as to be expected), and great to see them free.

My block may be even more rowdy than I’ve been giving it credit for.  Sure, I’ve definitely seen drug deals, livery cabs meeting up for lots of coronas between shifts, many people stopping their car to relieve themselves near the cemetery, and all of the extra trash that shows up at the end of the street mysteriously, however, I have not yet seen public sex, prostitution, or break-ins.  Time permitting, I’ll have to check out this community meeting, it sounds like my block is on the up-and-up!

If you’ll bear with me a minute, I’d like to provide an update on Jenn’s and my current bike stable:

This past Friday, I picked up a really nice 5-rail Cetma rack for my primary commuter, my 2008 Mercier Kilo TT, nicknamed “the Urban Explorer.”  Thanks to the guys at King Kog over in the Williamsburg area.  I’ve already people asking me on the street where to get them.  Lane currently has the black 5-rail on sale on his site.  I’ve heard they can hold a lot of weight, though I’ve only done a smallish grocery store run with it thus far.

Affectionately known as “the Backup Bike,” I picked up this 1988 Centurion Ironman the other month via NYC Craigslist for a really great price.  I may have mentioned it previously, it’s got all Shimano 105 components, and recently I replaced the bar tape with bright yellow FSA tape, changed out the nice, stock Nitto stem for a shorter Kalloy, replaced the slightly-too-short Sugino seatpost with a lighter, used Bontrager post, and replaced the pedals setup with MKS GR-9s and MKS (LL) clips, among other small changes.

Jenn’s new bike (a 1988ish Peugeot Nice) was a recent addition, to replace her 1983 Miyata 210, which had been known as “Brownie.”  There may still be some slight tweaks in the future, but it definitely a step up from the Miyata, in terms of components, gearing, color, and weight.

OK, back to the regularly scheduled programming.

Recent ink: I got a raven that I drew tattooed onto my arm by Mike Drexler over at Fly-Rite in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.  They do great work over there, highly recommened, plus Mike’s a good guy.

• Two blocks over, Landis and Ed hosted a fundraiser rooftop party for Landis and David Downs to run for charity in some upcoming marathon/half-marathons.  Excellent chicken sandwiches from Jacob, a fellow former North Carolinian, and Cindy provided great burgers (vidalia onions inside, and topped with tomatoes and guacamole).

In closing, here’s one more picture (of Jenn) from the Outer Banks, North Carolina trip the other week.

thiscity turns three

Moses is an excellent host over in Red Hook.  We’re all jealous of his backyard.  That’s Cory and Holly’s tent on the right side.  Moses’ neighbor brought out some additional food to add to the barbequed chicken, roasted tomatoes, pineapple, garlic, mushrooms, and sweet corn.  The prior course was french bread with parmigiano-reggiano and balsamic vinegar-based greens.  Lastly joined by homemade cookies.  Certainly a cemetary meal is long overdue already.

Thanks to Tod for the heads-up about the Swimming Cities of Switchback Sea (plus props on the successful photography opening the other night at the Heist Gallery).  The Switchback group put on a series of performances over the past few days at the Deitch Gallery space, in Long Island City, to provide a capstone for living on these homemade rafts/boats over the past few months.  Jeff Stark (the host of some Bluestockings events) was part of it as well, plus some Black Label representation.  The sheer beauty of the ships interconnected with planks and ropes during the performance was kinda breathtaking.  Very memorable.

Swoon’s work (on the left) was accompanied by Dark, Dark, Dark‘s ghostly melodies (accordion, banjo, and other timeless instruments).  Not to oversimplify, but they sound similar to The Decemberists (similar instruments and songwriting) but perhaps with a little more youthful naivety (amidst faux-nostalgia) than Colin Meloy’s more-aged cynicism.  Check out a track called “Junk Bones” if you get a chance.

Due to rain, Ed Zipco‘s Chief Mag party started off in a loading garage, but was eventually relocated to the warehouse rooftop, as scheduled.  I spoke to Ed and also to Elizabeth Weinberg super briefly, but they both seemed very nice.  Jenn and I are all for free, BYOB events.

So, thiscityi$mine turns three years old today.  This is a shot from a trip Big Joseph and I took down to Staten Island back in 2005.

Marta and her roommates were nice enough to offer up another brunch feast out in Bushwick.  As Welles (not pictured) mentioned, the table is certainly “boardroom size.”  And speaking of Brooklyn brunches, thanks to D.Lish and B.Davis for the great food and tour of the new Greenpoint place as well, the previous day.  We’re evenly distributing the crew through the neighborhoods.

• Also, Jenn and I helped Nick and Sarah and some other people make some background props for Nick’s upcoming film, to be partly shot in a school out on Long Island.  They’re currently living over in Astoria, Queens, until Nick takes off for out west, and Sarah goes over to Japan for a while.

Sometimes night rides are the best.

multiple showers

Team Robespierre rocked out at “Less Artists, More Condos” tonight.

The main vocalist looks a lot like Nate over in Park Slope, coincidentally.

• So yes, the venue was someone’s apartment over on West 3rd, deep in NYU territory.  It was three hundred degrees in there.  An advantage of all-ages shows is that it’s much easier to get a drink from the bartender.  Two things of note about this show: 1) it’s the third time in NYC that I’ve been at a show where the headliner doesn’t show.  This time it was Japanther.  And worse, I’ve heard they did it two other times recently.  Brilliant way to keep fans.  2) embarassingly enough, I only discovered the beauty of earplugs this evening, after years of hearing loss.  Turns out, those things work wonders.  Next up: buckling my seatbelt when riding in a car.

The other month, I happened to start talking to a bunch of friends about tiki stuff, it just started to strike me as fascinating.  Then, a week later, this shows up in the abandoned lot across from my apartment (the brick building on the right).

• Last weekend, Jenn and I happened to bike past a free performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, over in that Old Stone House place just off of 5th Avenue, so we watched the last bit of it.  One of the lead females was played by a guy in drag, and the humor all around was on-point.  Not quite as amazing as stumbling into “Shakespeare in the Parking Lot” last year in the Lower, but a very close second.

• Bike update: I successfully cut an inch off the steerer in the fork today with a small pipe-cutter I picked up, plus trimmed an inch off each side of the bars.  This thing is getting clean.  Photo.

Hidden gem: this value mix is $3.99 at your local Key Food grocery store.